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Private Lands Deer Management Program

For more information about this program, contact Cory Morea at 850-617-9553.

Deer harvested under a Private Lands Deer Management Program permit must be logged and reported to the FWC Deer Harvest Reporting System by the hunter who harvested the deer.

The goal of the Private Lands Deer Management Program (PLDMP) is to meet the needs and desires of private landowners and leaseholders regarding deer management through a voluntary program that provides greater flexibility in herd and harvest management and promotes habitat conservation and hunting heritage efforts. The PLDMP is for parcels of sufficient size to successfully implement deer herd and wildlife management measures.

The voluntary Private Lands Deer Management Program was developed at the request of private landowners to have the FWC work closely with them to allow greater flexibility in deer hunting seasons and deer harvest opportunities within sustainable herd management goals for individual properties. Additionally, the PLDMP requires permittees to conduct resource management practices that benefit not only deer, but also a wide range of wildlife and ecosystems throughout Florida, as well as promoting hunting heritage opportunities.  

FWC oversight of deer management, including approval of the management plan and appropriate monitoring measures, ensures accountability and stewardship of the wild deer population on behalf of Florida residents. Additionally, the greater public benefits from the PLDMP as (1) more and better wildlife habitat management is being conducted throughout Florida, (2) more data on deer populations and harvest informs deer management in Florida, and (3) more opportunities to get youth involved in hunting and other fish and wildlife related programs. 

Participation in the Private Lands Deer Management Program allows:

  • Hunters on the permitted property to use any legal method of take (archery, crossbow, muzzleloading gun and modern firearms) during the entire deer season.
    • For example, firearms could be used during archery or muzzleloading gun season, etc.
    • Appropriate permits for archery, crossbow, or muzzleloading gun seasons would be required for all hunters participating during those zonal seasons, regardless of method of take used under the Private Lands Deer Management Program permit.
  • Participating properties are provided antlered and antlerless deer tags in accordance with deer harvest recommendations developed by a CWB or FWC Landowner Assistance Biologist that are intended to help reach the deer management objectives for the property.
    • If recommendations exceed one (1) antlered deer per 150 acres or one (1) antlerless deer per 150 acres, then a FWC-approved deer survey (camera, spotlight or aerial surveys) must be used to estimate, monitor, and support harvest recommendations. Antlered and antlerless deer harvest recommendations may be submitted without conducting a deer population survey in the year immediately following two consecutive years of deer population surveys, and in alternate years thereafter, provided the surveyed areas and survey methodologies are comparable between surveys. 
    • No deer population survey is required for approval of the harvest of a maximum of (1) antlered and one (1) antlerless deer per 150 acres.
  • Consistent with statewide deer hunting days, properties participating in the PLDMP will have a 128-day hunting season.
    • However, since Zone A has a 33-day break in the season, Zone A permittees are allowed to designate when that break occurs, as long as the hunting season is 128-days and within the zonal start and end dates.
    • Permittees in zones B, C, and D would have the 128-hunting days consistent with the respective zonal season dates.
    • If property is in more than one zone, the applicant may choose hunting dates from either of the two zones (but not both).
  • The property would remain eligible to receive deer depredation permits.

To be eligible for the Private Lands Deer Management Program, permittees must be a minimum size of 5,000 contiguous acres (cooperatives are allowed) and must annually:

  • Submit the PLDMP Permit application with required supporting materials, including the Wildlife Management Plan. Applications submitted 45 days before zonal season start date will be processed before the start of the season. Applications will be processed as time allows for those submitted later.
  • Submit a Wildlife Management Plan (WMP) developed or approved by a Certified Wildlife Biologist (CWB; certified by The Wildlife Society) or developed through the FWC’s Landowner Assistance Program in accordance with PLDMP Management Plan Checklist and detailing the required resource management practices to be conducted to meet program requirements.
  • Conduct at least 4 of the approved resource management practices that affect 10% or more of the permitted land. Approved PLDMP Resource Practice Guidelines list practices that meet PLDMP eligibility requirements, resource management practices not listed must be pre-approved by the FWC Deer Program.
  • Tag and collect data (in accordance with the PLDMP Harvest Data Form) from all harvested deer taken on PLDMP permits. Permittees must submit the PLDMP Harvest Data Form by April 1. FWC will provide additional documents to aid permittees in collecting age class and antler data from harvested deer.


  • 45 days prior to deer hunting season: Submit PLDMP Permit Application with supporting documentation, including Wildlife Management Plan to FWC Deer Program via Becky Peters at or (352) 226-0753.
    • If property was involved in PLDMP the previous year and is reapplying, then the Resource Compliance Report with the PLDMP Compliance form developed by the CWB or FWC Landowner Assistance Biologist must be submitted with the application verifying resource management practices were implemented the previous permit year meeting PLDMP requirements.
  • April 1: Submit PLDMP Harvest Data Form to FWC Deer Program.

For more information about this program, contact Becky Peters at or (352) 226-0753.

PLDMP Documents and Resources: